WITH reference to Mr Challinor’s letter (July 7) and the articles by Greg Luckhurst (July 9 and 17), I should like to consider the matter from the older person’s perspective.

Cllr Hadley stresses the benefits of walking and cycling for shorter journeys but many elderly people are not suited to cycling. Moreover in respect of Covid-19 it is generally acknowledged that the private car is the safest form of transport.

I agree with Guy Cribb that the lower part of Evening Hill parking is used for water sports activity, but further up it becomes the province of the elderly and disabled. Old age catches up with everybody. To illustrate my point, my late partner and I moved permanently to the Sandbanks peninsula in 1997. For some years, he cycled into Poole most days, but over a period he was diagnosed with spondylitis, polymyalgia, rheumatism and COPD, for which he was allowed a blue badge. There are few places that can match the upper part of Evening Hill for older people: a beautiful view, relative quiet and just a few steps from on-road parking to benches either in the sun or shade. Cllr Hadley plans to reinstate the parking places but he has overlooked the fact that there is nowhere else suitable for people with mobility problems to park.

I see dozens of cyclists every day and many give the impression of using Sandbanks for time trials. If they are unhappy with the present parking arrangements at Evening Hill, they at least have the option of dismounting and walking with their bikes on the pavement. This would endanger nobody. The last time I drove into Poole for my weekly shot, an older cyclist was doing exactly that, it was common practice on steep hills when I used to cycle in Southampton in the 1940s-60s.

I think it is time for BCP Council to look for a fairer balance between the needs of physically fit cyclists and their many older residents.


Panorama Road, Poole